April 18, 2016
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Federal amendment introduced to prevent hefty taxes on craft beer, wine and beverages

Washington has more craft distilleries than any other state, is second in the nation in craft breweries, and the state’s wine production has doubled in the past decade. To help protect and expand the state’s craft beverage industry, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and other lawmakers last week introduced a bill that would reform federal taxes on small craft brewers.

Beer is currently taxed at $18 per 31-gallon barrel with a reduced rate of $7 for the first 60,000 barrels for producers of less than 2 million barrels a year. The proposed bipartisan amendment would reduce the tax to $16 per barrel, and for domestic breweries producing less than 2 million barrels, the tax would drop to $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000.

The change would mean big savings for small craft brewers – in Washington, the smallest would see their per-barrel tax cut in half. The amendment has similar provisions for wine and spirit production.

"That is money that comes off the top of every keg that a brewer could reinvest in their company," said Anne McGrath, executive director of the Washington Brewers Guild. "They could then increase production or add employees."

The Puget Sound Business Journal has more.

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Support Redevelopment to Create Jobs

Remove the barriers to prosperity

By Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO; Larry Brown, Aerospace Machinists Union District Lodge 751; and Vince O'Halloran, Sailors' Union of the Pacific

Communities across our state are being rocked by the loss of jobs from closures of viable industry and manufacturing -- such as the Alcoa plant in Wenatchee. At the same time, we are facing extreme resistance to use or repurpose sites that have been closed, symptomatic of a growing and devastating "deindustrialization" sentiment. Examples include opposition to the proposal to use a former Alcoa plant for the Millennium Bulk Terminals project in Longview, and the proposal in Tacoma -- now on hold -- to convert a former aluminum smelter into a methanol refinery.

It's no secret that our regulatory process is broken. It has become so protracted and unpredictable that we are sending potential investors the unmistakable message that Washington is an inhospitable place to launch new industrial, energy and transportation facilities.

Each of these issues can and must be addressed immediately by state leaders.

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Wenatchee World
Sensible Savings

Even uncommon voices can find common ground on energy efficiency

By Ross Eisenberg of the National Association of Manufacturers and Kit Kennedy of the Natural Resources Defense Council

Washington, D.C., has earned a reputation in recent years as a city plagued by hyper-partisan gridlock. Yet our two organizations -- which often disagree -- have found common ground on energy efficiency. It's instructive to look at why both the National Association of Manufacturers and the Natural Resources Defense Council both support it.

It's simple, really: by building better buildings, making more innovative products, and using creative manufacturing processes, we can accomplish multiple goals -- reducing wasted resources, improving our electricity system, preventing more toxic pollution, reducing climate change, and fueling economic growth. Many new, innovative energy efficiency products and technologies are made right here by American manufacturers, creating jobs and economic growth across the nation.

Candidates aren't banging their fists on the lectern about energy efficiency. There are no big-budget commercials or fiery debates on TV. But that's not because the issue isn't important. Buildings consume approximately 40 percent of all the energy used in the United States. Improving energy efficiency of our buildings, and of the appliances and equipment inside them, is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to improve the environment, save money, combat global climate change, and stoke our economy...

Click here to read the full op-ed in The Hill
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